Sustainable Development Fund Grant Program (PECO Territory)

July 11, 2008


The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission created the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) in its final order of the PECO Energy electric utility restructuring proceeding. The Reinvestment Fund, Inc. (TRF), which was formed in 1985 to build wealth and opportunity for low-wealth communities and low- and moderate-income individuals, administers the SDF. SDF later received additional funding and responsibilities as a result of the PECO Energy/Unicom merger settlement. That settlement added funding for new wind development, for solar photovoltaics and for renewable energy education, as well as a lump-sum payment and an increase in SDF's core fund. In total, the fund has received approximately $31.8 million in income over its lifetime. The SDF provides financial assistance to eligible projects in the form of grants, commercial loans, subordinated debt, royalty financing, and equity financing. The Sustainable Development Fund provides financial assistance for the following types of ventures:

  • Manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, retailers and service companies who want to finance equipment upgrades or electricity energy savings improvements to their plant/office facilities;
  • Manufacturers, distributors and installers of renewable energy, advanced clean energy and energy-conserving products and technologies; and,
  • Companies and organizations that are end-users of renewable energy, advanced clean energy and energy-conserving products and technologies.
The specific terms of the financial support are flexible and are determined on a case-by-case basis. SDF also has a lease-financing product for large nonprofit institutions (schools and hospitals) for energy conservation improvements. Three types of grants are available: Sustainable Energy Business Planning Grants, Sustainable Energy Demonstration Grants, and other grants that follow the SDF's mission to "of promoting renewable energy, energy conservation and sustainable energy businesses." Grants will not be awarded for energy measures in individual residential buildings. According to the SDF's 2008 Annual Program Plan, sustainable energy grants are expected to average approximately $25,000 each with a total budget of $200,000. Grant funds are available for up to 75% of the cost of the work, with a minimum of 25% of the project costs being provided by the applicant. The average grant amount and the percentage of matching share are suggested values that may be modified by the SDF in special instances. For business planning grants, an additional guideline is that no more than 40% of the grant award may go to cover the costs of the applicant's staff. Visit the program website above for more information on applying for these SDF grants.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Pennsylvania
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Sustainable Development Fund
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Thermal Process Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Hydroelectric
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Combined Heat & Power
  • Fuel Cells using Non-Renewable Fuels
  • Landfill Gas
  • Yes; specific technologies not identified
  • Wind (Small)
  • Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Incentive Amount: $25,000 average
Maximum Incentive: Up to 75% of the costs, with 25% being covered by the applicant


Name: Roger Clark
Organization: Sustainable Development Fund
Address: 718 Arch Street, Sute 300 North
Philadelphia PA 19105
Phone: (215) 574-5814

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.